Epsom Downs

The Epsom Downs racecourse is a flat racing venue situated in Epsom, Surrey and is home to the Derby meeting, which includes three of the most highly anticipated group one races in the racing calendar, the Oaks, the Epsom Derby and the Coronation Cup.

The Oaks – a race for fillies – and Derby are both races for three year olds and hold a special significance in UK racing due to the history of the events and prestige that comes with winning them. Both races are part of the five British Classics, which also consist of Newmarket’s 1000 and 2000 Guineas as well as the St Leger Stakes. No horse has won all five races.

The Derby (run over a distance of 1 1/2 miles) also forms part of the Triple Crown of racing which involve winning the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger Stakes. This is of course more doable than winning all five British Classics but still a rare feat, as attested to by the year it was last won, 1970 (by Nijinksy).

Let’s also not forget the Fillie’s Triple crown (1,000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes), itself only won nine times, last in 1985. The gist is the both the Oaks and Derby are at the heart of UK flat racing, with those at the top of their game striving to win. Just look at recent winners of the Oaks for instance, Minding in 2016 and Enable the following year.

With such huge races being hosted here, it’s no surprise that the racecourse has an equally large capacity – 130,000. The Queen and family are known to have attended the Derby meeting on many occasions due to its Royal connections. Racing has taken place at the course since the 1700’s.


Goodwood racecourse is located close to Chichester, West Sussex and is a home to the much loved Glorious Goodwood festival of racing which takes place in late July or August of each year. The festival highlights the best of UK flat racing and features three of the countries annual 36 group 1 flat races, the Sussex Stakes, Goodwood Cup and Nassau Stakes.

The Goodwood Cup was first held in 1812 and has a purse of £500,000. Stayers’ Triple Crown winner Double Trigger excelled at the event winning the Goodwood Cup in 1995, 1997 and 1998. The Sussex Stakes also has attracted the best of the best over the years, with Frankel winning back to back in 2011 and 2012. In 2018 the purse for the event was £1,000,000, with almost £600,000 of that going to the winner.

The Goodwood racecourse is rather complex compared to many more straightforward UK courses. It has a long uphill straight, then is downhill for much of the remainder. There is a looped area which features starts for many of the longer distance races, including the 1 mile 2 furlong Craven course and 2 mile 5 furlong Cup Course.

On occasion the course can get foggy, due to its proximity to the coast. The official Goodwood website highlights the courses ’19 fabulous days of racing and entertainment’. It’s hard to argue with that assessment of the Goodwood racing experience.

Haydock Park

Haydock Park racecourse is situated in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside and is owned by Jockey Club Racecourses. It’s both a flat and national hunt course and its races are broadcast on Racing UK. The ‘Park’ in Haydock park is on account of the courses beautiful setting within parkland.

The course first opened in 1899 (racing had previously taken place in nearby Newton in the decades previous) and is a left handed course of around 1 mile 5 furlongs in distance. Racing takes place all year round, and the course is home to two group one races, the Haydock Spring Cup in September and November’s Betfair Chase, the former is a flat race, the latter a chase.

The Betfair Chase is a relatively new addition, having first taken place in 2005. Its sponsor, Betfair, initially offered a £1,000,000 prize to any horse winning this race as well as the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Kauto Star wasted no time in picking up the prize in 2006-7, and in fact won the race four times between 2006-11. Cue Card has also impressed in the Betfair Chase over the years, winning it in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

The success of Kauto Star – and also wins by Silvianaco Conti, means that jockey Ruby Walsh and trainer Paul Nicholls currently hold the records for the most wins in the Betfair Chase.


Newmarket racecourse is situated in Newmarket, Suffolk, UK and consists of two separate courses named the Rowley Mile (a 1 mile 2 furlong course used in spring and autumn) and the July course (1 mile). Both courses are for flat racing only. It’s well situated with many nearby training yards and organisations (Tattersalls etc). It’s place in the heart of races extends to its exciting racing fixtures which take place from April to November each year.

Many noteable races are held at the Newmarket course including the Craven Stakes in April, 1000 and 2000 Guineas in May, The July Cup, and Fillies Mile in September, the list goes on. The course holds an impressive nine of the UK’s 36 group one meetings each year – most of which take place on the Rowley Mile course – meaning that if you live close to the course you’re in for a real treat!

Some will be aware that the Champion Stakes also used to take place at Newmarket, but that race along with two others moved to British Champions Day at Ascot in 2010.

The course has royal connections going back hundreds of years. The first recorded race in the proximity was a £100 bet between Lord Salisbury and Marquess of Buckingham in 1622, with the racecourse itself being founded in 1636.